We welcome back NovelNetwork member, book club manager, and author blogger extraordinaire Dorothy Caldwell Minor, aka The Book Whisperer.
Read on for Dorothy’s recent review of Tracey Enerson Wood’s new release, THE WAR NURSE:
“I am a big fan of historical novels. I especially enjoy reading one that introduces me to figures from history about whom I have no knowledge. The War Nurse by Tracey Enerson Wood does just that. I had not ever heard of Julia Stimson. Wood has done her research on Stimson’s life and accomplishments and has woven those facts into a mesmerizing recounting in fiction of Stimson’s world.
Julia Catherine Stimson was born in MA and graduated from Vassar College in 1901, a time when few women received an education beyond the age of fourteen. She followed up by attending the New York Hospital Training School for Nurses and then a master’s degree from Washington U in St. Louis in 1917. That same year, she joined Army Nurse Corps in WWI. Stimson received a number of awards for her service. In 1948, she was promoted to full colonel.
Wood takes readers on the journey with Stimson as she volunteers to train American nurses to help British nurses who have already been in the war. In fact, Stimson and her nurses are already engaged before American troops are deployed.
Stimson faces a number of tests. Not only is she training the nurses, but she also faces truly primitive conditions. The horrible war wounds add to her stress and difficulties. Not being able to get the supplies the nurses need and yet trying hard to save lives and give comfort to the wounded makes life more than difficult. These conditions made me think of the difficulties medical personnel and hospitals faced during the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
Stimson also faces prejudice because she is a woman and a nurse. Her strength of character and sense of right keep her going despite all the struggles she faces.
Wood did thorough research on Stimson’s life and career. Adding to that research, Wood herself is a nurse, so her understanding of the medical conditions and the lack of supplies Stimson faced mean even more. Readers can feel certain the medical explanations are accurate. The War Nurse will provide an excellent discussion for book clubs. Meaty topics such as understanding care of wounded soldiers, fighting for women’s rights, seeking recognition for nurses, and risking everything to save those soldiers.
The War Nurse is a must read for historical fiction buffs. It puts the spotlight squarely on Julia Stimson and her career. I am grateful to have received an advance copy from BookBrowse. Tracey Enerson Wood is also a member of NovelNetwork, a group that seeks to connect authors and readers. The book will be published July 6, 2021!”